The P.c. Phenomenon


May 12, 1991|By Elizabeth Large

A . M. Chaplin's cover story on political correctness is the result of one of those rare cases of editor and writer coming up with the same story idea at the same staff meeting. Both of us had gotten interested in the fact that the perception of political correctness -- the current campus orthodoxy on matters of race, gender and class -- had undergone some kind of significant change.

The popularity of the somewhat affectionate but mostly contemptuous abbreviation "P.C." suggests that awareness of the phenomenon has become widespread -- and that it's now open to criticism from quarters where it had once been sacrosanct.

Back in the '60s, liberals and those to their left shared a lot of the same goals, but the liberals' moderate methods were ridiculed by their more extreme peers. Now, as you'll find from A. M. Chaplin's story, it's the liberals' turn to attack.

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